Business news

Success story for DigitalCity fellows

31 March 2015

A mobile games and app development studio is going from strength to strength after celebrating its second year in business.

Pictured: Darren Cuthbert (front left) and Bob Makin (front right) with Jacob Keane (back left) and Dave McCann (back right)
Pictured: Darren Cuthbert (front left) and Bob Makin (front right) with Jacob Keane (back left) and Dave McCann (back right)

SockMonkey Studios was founded by Bob Makin and Darren Cuthbert in 2013 with the help of DigitalCity and in those two years has landed a number of prestigious contracts.

Their company has also moved into new offices in the Phoenix Building at Teesside University in Middlesbrough to accommodate their expanding team and Bob was also invited by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to attend the renowned Games Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Teesside University graduates Bob and Darren enrolled on the DigitalCity Fellowship scheme to found SockMonkey after leaving their jobs at a large games studio in order to set up their own business.

Their first app, Wurdy, a word guessing game, was featured by Apple in 147 countries and reached the number one spot in two countries. Other work has swiftly followed and they have collaborated with several other studios on games apps.

They also worked with former Cleveland Police officer, Paul Cooper, to develop Pocket Sergeant, an app which provides up-to-date information, advice and procedure for police officers on duty.

Discussions are now underway with a number of police forces about rolling out the app amongst their officers.

Other work on the horizon includes rebooting vintage Amiga games for the mobile market.

The company is also working with Hello Games to bring the hit video game Joe Danger to Android platforms.

To help deal with the increased workload SockMonkey have taken on Teesside University student Dave McCann on a six month work placement.

They also employ full-time freelancer Jacob Keane who is also a DigitalCity Fellow having been encouraged to take up the Fellowship by Bob and Darren.

Bob said: 'The last two years have been a real whirlwind - it’s just been non-stop contracts.

'We’re concentrating mainly on mobile games but we’re still interested in developing for consoles and other gaming systems.

'The trip to America was fantastic, the Games Developer Conference attracts people from across the world and I had some very positive meetings.

'The DigitalCity Fellowship was a great help to us in getting set up and gave us the confidence to leave our jobs and set up a new business.'

The Fellowship scheme offers graduates up to £4,000 to cover their living costs while they develop their business product or idea.

Fellows also access industry-specific mentoring and can access facilities and equipment at Teesside University.

Dr Michael Ryding, Director of DigitalCity, said: 'SockMonkey is a fantastic success story and the team are creating some interesting and innovative apps.

'I am delighted that DigitalCity has been able to provide Bob and Darren with the support they needed to get the business off the ground.'

Click here for more information about SockMonkey Studios


In the News

Success story for DigitalCity fellows
NECC 31/03/2015; Gamasutra, 31/03/2015; NEC, 02/04/2015
SockMonkey Studios was founded by Bob Makin and Darren Cuthbert in 2013 with the help of DigitalCity and in those two years has landed a number of prestigious contracts.

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